Wine Wednesday: A Little Halloween Treat – no tricks here

Gather your “groan-up” friends and family for a “spooktacular” night of hauntingly delicious spirits, featuring a collection of easy concoctions perfect for any All Hallow’s Eve celebration.  Whether you’re planning a chilling house party or headed out for a night of flirtatious fun, these sweet tricks will add some pizzazz to your Halloween celebration — and you’ll be in for a real treat!

All Natural SKYY Infusions are the perfect base for a variety of sinfully festive cocktails designed to really put you and your guests in the Halloween spirit.  In honor of HBO’s wickedly good “True Blood,” get your guests’ blood pumping with the “Vampire’s Punch,” or for those with a real sweet tooth, indulge in a cocktail inspired by an old Halloween favorite like the eye-catching “Candy Corn Cocktail.”

No matter how you celebrate this Halloween, there is no doubt that your guests will happily drink in the spooky spirit of the season with these bewitching cocktails.

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Cocktails created by Alex Straus, Suite 700 at the Hotel Shangri-La in Los Angeles
Vampire’s Punch
Serves 12
18 oz. SKYY Infusions Cherry
8 oz. Lime Juice
6 oz. Cranberry Juice
2.5 oz. Grenadine

Fresh cherries, pits removed

Wash and remove pits and stems from fresh cherries, and muddle in cocktail shaker.  Combine the rest of the ingredients except 7UP in bowl and stir.  Top with 7UP and muddled cherries.

Pumpkin Spice
2 oz. SKYY Infusions Ginger
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
1 oz. Pumpkin Puree
Splash of Honey Water*
Slice of Fresh Ginger

Combine all ingredients except ginger slice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Add long slice of ginger into glass lengthwise for garnish.

*Honey Water is made using equal parts honey and water.

Candy Corn Cocktail
2 oz. SKYY Infusions Pineapple

1.5 oz. Orange Sherbet, softened
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Milk
1 oz. Simple Syrup

Combine SKYY Infusions Pineapple and pineapple juice in cocktail shaker with ice.  Strain over fresh ice into a clear Collins glass.  Combine softened orange sherbet and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.  Strain, and pour over bar spoon to layer in the rocks glass.  Then, combine simple syrup and milk in cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.  Layer milk mixture on top of sorbet mixture.

Ghostly Coolada
2 oz. SKYY Infusions Pineapple
1 oz. Cream of Coconut or Coconut Milk
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
2 Circular Chocolates

Place all ingredients except chocolate in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain into a cocktail glass, and float chocolate circles on the top of the drink for your Ghostly Coolada’s eyes

What’s Halloween cocktails with out a little apple treat – not a real day at all, I say.  So here is a fun, easy to make treat for you and your sweetheart.

Here’s a Halloween treat that will please people who love apples as well as those who love candy. Use the smallest apples you can find. Lady apples are great, but small (no bigger than a tangerine). McIntosh, Empire, and Granny Smith apples will also work. Coat the caramel with whatever candy you like. I like the candies listed here for the way they taste or look: Toffee bars are universally appealing; Reese’s Pieces come in seasonal fall colors of orange, yellow, and brown; the cinnamon flavor of Red Hots complements the apples; and candy corn just says Halloween.  Serves 8

One 1.4 oz. chocolate-and-toffee bar such as Skor, crushed
One 1.5 oz. bag Reese’s Pieces
1/4 cup candy corn
1/4 cup Red Hots
8 small apples, washed and dried
One 14-oz. bag Kraft caramels
1/4 cup heavy cream

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Place the candies in separate small bowls. Insert a craft stick into the stem end of each apple.

Put unwrapped caramels and heavy cream in a medium-size, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.

Hold an apple by its stick over the pot of caramel and spoon the caramel over the apple to coat, allowing the excess to drip back into the pot (if the caramel gets too stiff to spoon, reheat for a minute or two to loosen). Press the candy into the apple and place, stick side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples, coating two apples in each type of candy. Let stand until the caramel has cooled, about 10 minutes. The apples will keep, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 2 days.


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